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The New York Times
“Hard Fork” is a show about the future that’s already here. Each week, journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton explore and make sense of the latest in the rapidly changing world of tech.
3 days ago
A Trip to TikTok + ChatGPT’s Origin Story + Kevin Systrom’s Comeback
TikTok is opening up a “Transparency and Accountability Center” to try to win over skeptics. Is the company’s strategy working? Then, the origin story of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and how the company kicked off an A.I. arms race. Plus: A co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, hopes to make a “TikTok for text.” On today’s episode: * Kevin Systrom is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Instagram. Additional reading: * TikTok is taking a more aggressive approach toward lobbying. * Inside OpenAI’s race to build ChatGPT. * Kevin Systrom is starting a new A.I.-powered news app.
1 hr 2 min
Jan 27, 2023
Meta’s Trump Calculus + Regime Change at Netflix
What does Donald Trump’s reinstatement on Facebook and Instagram mean for our politics and platforms? Then, Netflix in its post-Reed era. Plus: How the Bored Ape Yacht Club went from being the Disney of Web3 to handing out sewer passes for their new video game. On today’s episode: * Lucas Shaw is an entertainment industry reporter for Bloomberg. Additional reading: * Meta reinstated Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. * Trump looked to get out of a deal with his own social media site, Truth Social * The Jan. 8 riots in Brazil mirrored aspects of the U.S. Capitol Riots, including the use of tech platforms to organize rioters. * Donald Trump used Truth Social to attack former Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman.
Jan 20, 2023
Elon's Crumbling Empire + Generative A.I. Goes to Court
Nearly three months into Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, things are in a "shambolic" state. Is the rest of Elon’s empire also in trouble? Then, an artist fighting generative A.I. sets the stage for a legal clash. Plus: what goes wrong when A.I. becomes a reporter. On today’s episode: * Sarah Andersen, a cartoonist and the illustrator of a semi-autobiographical comic strip, “Sarah’s Scribbles.” Additional reading: * A look inside Elon Musk’s first 90 days as chief executive of Twitter. * The artist Sarah Andersen on finding her art in the databases behind text-to-image A.I. platforms. * Three artists, including Ms. Andersen, filed a class-action lawsuit against the creators of Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and DreamUp. * CNET’s A.I.-written articles contained errors.
1 hr 1 min
Jan 13, 2023
ChatGPT Transforms a Classroom + Is 'M3GAN' Real?
A high school teacher on how the new chatbot from OpenAI is transforming her classroom — for the better. And, “M3GAN” may be closer than you think. Plus: Why Gen Z is chasing the digital camera aesthetic. On today’s episode: * Cherie Shields is a high school English teacher in Sandy, Ore. * Kalley Huang is a technology reporting fellow based in San Francisco. Additional reading: * Gen Z is bringing back the digital camera, and teenagers in Brooklyn are rejecting smartphone culture. * Researchers at Columbia University are trying to build conscious robots. * The case for using ChatGPT in schools.
1 hr 2 min
Jan 6, 2023
TikTok’s Spying Scandal + ChatGPT Puts Google on Notice + Phone Jail
Calls to ban TikTok or force its sell-off from its parent company ByteDance are gaining momentum, especially after reports of ByteDance’s surveillance of several U.S. journalists. And could Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI mark the end of Google’s search monopoly? Plus: New Year's resolutions, including locking up your phone. On today’s episode: * Emily Baker-White, a technology reporter at Forbes who reports on TikTok. Additional reading: * An inside view into Project Texas, TikTok’s plan to limit access to sensitive U.S. user data. * ByteDance used TikTok to track the location of journalists including Emily Baker-White. * On TikTok, Chinese state media outlets pushed divisive videos about U.S. politicians. * Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s chief executive, is navigating the limits of his power. * The federal government and several states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices. * ChatGPT is a “code red” for Google Search. * Microsoft and OpenAI are working on a ChatGPT-powered version of Bing.
Dec 16, 2022
SBF Arrested + 2023 Predictions + Your Questions Answered
The year of the “mini-Musk” chief executive, the end of homework as we know it, a crackdown on TikTok and other predictions for 2023. Also, Sam Bankman-Fried’s arrest and answers to our listener questions. On today’s episode: * David Yaffe-Bellany, a cryptocurrency and financial technology reporter for The New York Times. Additional reading: * Bankman-Fried, the former chief executive of FTX, was arrested and denied bail by a judge in the Bahamas. Prosecutors accused him of engaging in widespread fraud. * John J. Ray III, the new chief executive of FTX, described an “unprecedented” lack of record keeping at the company. * Scientists used a quantum computer to simulate a pair of black holes.
Dec 9, 2022
Can ChatGPT Make This Podcast?
It’s writing podcast scripts, finishing students’ homework and correcting mistakes in computer code: ChatGPT, the A.I. chatbot from OpenAI, is suddenly everywhere. Who should decide how it’s built? What could go wrong? And what could go right? On today’s episode: * Aviv Ovadya, a technologist and affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a visiting scholar at Cambridge University Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence. Additional reading: * ChatGPT is inspiring awe and fear among users. * Aviv Ovadya proposes governing tech platforms democratically through “platform democracy.” * Meta’s Cicero AI is getting good at negotiating with humans. * Researchers are diagnosing Parkinson’s using a phone, a patient’s voice and a machine learning model.
Dec 2, 2022
Elon’s Two-Day War with Apple + How to Beat an A.I. Censor + S.B.F.’s ‘Bad Month’
Elon Musk accuses Apple of trying to sabotage Twitter. But after his visit with Apple’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, things are … good? Then, the New York Times reporter Paul Mozur on the tactics Chinese protesters are deploying to avoid the most sophisticated censorship apparatus in the world. Plus: S.B.F. says it’s been a “bad month.” Additional Reading: * Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to pull Twitter from its App Store and tweeted about Apple’s “secret 30 percent tax” on developers for in-app purchases. The company has again delayed the launch of Twitter Blue as it seeks a way to avoid paying Apple’s 30 percent fee for the service. * Later, Musk said the “misunderstanding” with Apple had been resolved after he met with the company’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, at Apple’s headquarters. * Layoffs at Twitter gutted the company’s child safety team, which is responsible for removing child exploitation. * Musk offered a “general amnesty” for over 60,000 banned accounts on Twitter. * Protests in China rippled throughout the country, and citizens found ways to get around the Chinese censorship apparatus. * On Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried appeared for an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Summit. We want to hear from you. _Email us at email@example.com. Follow “Hard Fork” on TikTok: @__hardfork_
Nov 18, 2022
A Hard Fork in the Road: FTX’s Unraveling and Elon’s Loyalty Oath
The balance sheet contains an apology, the in-house coach is concerned that company executives are “undersexed” and billions in customer funds remain in jeopardy. The wreckage at FTX goes from bad to worse. Plus: Elon’s “extremely hardcore” plan for Twitter 2.0. Additional Resources: * George K. Lerner, FTX’s in-house performance coach, said he was shocked by the collapse of FTX. * In an interview with Matt Levine, a Bloomberg columnist, Sam Bankman-Fried described his strategy to restore faith in the crypto ecosystem. * Bankman-Fried reflected on his actions as chief executive of FTX in a series of Twitter messages with Kelsey Piper, a Vox reporter. * Elon Musk told Twitter employees in an email that the company would become an “extremely hardcore” operation. Employees were asked to click yes to be part of the new Twitter or take severance. * Musk’s social calendar includes courting comedians and hopping on yachts. We want to hear from you. _Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow “Hard Fork” on TikTok: @__hardfork_
Nov 11, 2022
A Verified Mess: Turmoil from Twitter to FTX
This week, we go inside Elon Musk’s “dire” warnings, FTX’s spectacular collapse and Meta’s big layoffs. Has the tech industry lost its mind? _“Hard Fork” listeners: We want to hear your questions about the tech industry. Send them to email@example.com__. Also, check us out on TikTok: @__hardforkpod_ Additional Resources: * Elon Musk told Twitter employees the company faced a bleak financial picture in a meeting with staff on Thursday and in his first companywide emails. * The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, said it had reached a deal to buy its competitor FTX, which was on the verge of collapse. The news about FTX had left crypto investors scrambling. * Is the collapse of FTX crypto’s Lehman Brothers moment? * Meta announced layoffs of 11,000 employees, accounting for about 13 percent of its work force.
Nov 4, 2022
Life Under Musk: Two Twitter Employees Speak Out
“We cross our fingers and hope to make it through another day.” Twitter hasn’t spoken publicly since Elon Musk bought the company a week ago. But inside, employees describe a mood of fear, chaos, stress and bizarre requests to print out code. Additional Resources: * Members of Elon Musk’s inner circle, including the podcast hosts David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and Sriram Krishnan, are advising Mr. Musk on changes at Twitter. * Engineers at Twitter were told to print out their most recent software code to show to Mr. Musk. * Under pressure to increase revenue, Mr. Musk considered making Twitter users pay to keep their verification badges. The acclaimed horror author Stephen King was not thrilled by the idea. * Twitter’s chief customer officer, Sarah Personette, and several other executives have left the company in recent days. * Mr. Musk faces financial challenges in owning Twitter.
Oct 28, 2022
Emergency Pod: Elon Musk Owns Twitter
We look into the company’s weird new future with Times tech reporter Kate Conger. Plus, how Apple is single-handedly deciding the future of the digital economy, and a social media death watch. Guest today: * Kate Conger, a technology reporter in the San Francisco bureau of The New York Times Additional resources: * Elon Musk has closed the $44 billion deal to own Twitter. * In the lead up to the deadline to complete the acquisition of the social media service, Elon Musk visited Twitter’s San Francisco office and sought to reassure advertisers about his plans for the platform through a Tweet. * Spotify has struggled to bring audiobooks onto its platform after Apple rejected Spotify’s new app three times. * The CEO of Altimeter Capital, the hedge fund and Meta shareholder, wrote a critical open letter to Meta and Mark Zuckerberg.
Oct 21, 2022
Generative AI is Here. Who Should Control It?
We sit down with the founder of Stability AI, Emad Mostaque, on the heels of his $101 million fund-raising round. His open-source Stable Diffusion image generator is the key to unlocking creativity, he says, and “one of the ultimate tools for freedom of expression” — as long as it stays out of the hands of a few censorious tech giants. So what’s this former hedge fund manager turned tech mogul thinking about how this technology could be used — or misused? Plus: A.I. Kevin and A.I. Casey stop by. On today’s episode * Emad Mostaque, the chief executive of Stability AI Additional resources * “Eshoo Urges N.S.A. & O.S.T.P. to Address Unsafe A.I. Practices” (Press Release, Representative Anna Eshoo of California) * “This artist is dominating A.I.-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.” (Melissa Heikkilä, M.I.T. Technology Review) * “A Coming-Out Party for Generative A.I., Silicon Valley’s New Craze” (Kevin Roose, The New York Times)
Oct 14, 2022
Legs Are Coming + $36 Burritos + Shocking AI News
Meta is in the fight of its life — and Mark Zuckerberg hopes VR is the answer. Hmmm. Plus, an existential threat to the gig economy and the wildest news in artificial intelligence.
Oct 7, 2022
Elon’s Hidden Motives + A Meetup in the Metaverse
The $44 billion Twitter deal is back on the table — and Casey isn’t buying it. Kevin looks for friends in the Metaverse. And the “Hard Fork Transparency Report” debuts. You can read Kashmir Hill’s story here: "This Is Life in the Metaverse."
1 hr 4 min
Sep 27, 2022
What’s a Hard Fork?
Hosts Kevin Roose and Casey Newton explore stories from the wild frontier of tech. What’s real? What’s hype? “Hard Fork” is here to help you make sense of it. Tune in on Friday, Oct. 7.
Sep 27, 2022
We Interrupt This Program
Stay tuned for “Hard Fork,” a new podcast from The New York Times that comes Friday, Oct. 7 to this feed. If you’re looking for “Sway” with Kara Swisher, you can search for older episodes in any podcast app or at nytimes.com/sway .